Plan Your Own Event
RAE’s member organizations are located in coastal areas across the nation. But some of you may be thinking, “I don’t live near the coast. How can I get involved?” You don’t have to be located close to our member organizations to volunteer. Try planning your own event! Planning your own restoration or clean-up event can be easy, but here are a few points to consider:
Choose a date
This may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but there are many factors that go into choosing a date for your event. Make sure your event is on a day that most volunteers would be available on. When it comes to environmental projects, it is also important to pay attention to the weather, and plan an alternate date if necessary. If your event is near the coast, pay attention to the tidal patterns and plan accordingly.
Select a site
When selecting an event site, it is important to consider a few important factors. Some sites might not be feasible due to difficult conditions such as areas with a lot of poison ivy. It is also important to make sure you have permission from the landowner of that site to work there. Being reprimanded by the authorities for trespassing is not an ideal way to clean your local environments.
Post your event on social media, write a letter to your local newspaper, or even pass out flyers. Getting the word out about your event will help you collect the volunteers you need to make a difference. You can reach out to local on-the-ground organizations for potential partnerships. Perhaps reach out to a local land trust, community group, or university organization.
How will your volunteers know where to go and what to wear? Once you have your official list of volunteers, make sure they are informed about things like where to go, what to bring, how to dress, etc.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when planning an event is safety. Is the area that your event will take place safe? Is the kind of work you will be doing safe for all ages? It is usually a good idea to have volunteers sign a waiver upon arrival.
Consider how you will measure the success of your event. If you are picking up trash, how many bags did you collect? If you are planting trees, how many acres did you plant? Keeping track of the results of your event is crucial in planning for your next event. If this one was successful, imagine how much better the next one will be!
For more information and ideas to help you plan a successful event, take a look at the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s site leader planning guide.